What is Mental Health?
A Mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling, or mood. Such conditions may affect someone’s ability to relate to others and function each day. People with the same diagnosis may have different experiences. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:
- Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
- Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
- Family history of mental health problems
- Common signs and symptoms of mental illness;
- Excessive worrying or fear
- Feeling excessively sad or low
- Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
- Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
- Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
- Avoiding friends and social activities
- Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
- Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
- Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
- Changes in sex drive
- Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don’t exist in objective reality)
- Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality (”lack of insight” or anosognosia)
- Overuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
- Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing “aches and pains”)
- Thinking about suicide
- Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
- An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance
These conditions deeply impact our day to day living and may also affect how we relate to other people. Please know that you are not alone. Mental health conditions are more common than you think, mainly because people don’t like or are scared to talk about it. Research shows that the mental health condition isn’t the result of one event. A stressful job or home life can make people more susceptible as do traumatic life events. Biochemical processes and circuits and basic brain structure may play a role.
What to Look For
Anxiety Disorder, Behavioral Disorder, Eating Disorder, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Psychotic Disorder, Mood Disorder, personality Disorders, and suicidal behavior.
A Different Perspective to Recovery
For many people with mental illness the concept of recovery is staying in control of their life rather than the elusive state of return to premorbid level of functioning. The approach argues against just treating and managing symptoms but focusing on building resilience of people with mental illness and supporting those in emotional stress. The recovery process provides a holistic view of people with mental illness that focuses on the person and not just their symptoms.
How to Get Help:
If you or someone has mental health problems, there are ways to get help. Studies show that people with mental health problems get better and many recover completely.